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A Piece of Yourself: Gift Giving in Self-Taught Art

July 22, 2019 –December 31, 2019
Exhibition
At the Self-Taught Genius Gallery
Long Island City, Queens

Gifts are present at all of life’s great milestones: births, birthdays, weddings, and all of the little occasions in between. A Piece of Yourself: Gift Giving in Self-Taught Art is dedicated to exploring the interconnection between gift-giving practices in the United States and self-taught art through a selection of works from the museum’s collection. Self-taught art—an inherent expression of its maker’s views—complicates standard gift-giving dynamics by presenting a one-of-a-kind artwork instead of an everyday commodity.

Made between the late eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, the works on view speak of their self-taught origins through their immediate and personal nature. They show that, at its best, giving a work of art is giving a piece of yourself.

Exhibition curator: Steffi Ibis Duarte, assistant curator, Self-Taught Genius Gallery

Installation photos by Olya Vysotskaya

 

Exhibition-Related Programs

Midday Art Break – August 7, 2019

 

Address:
47-29 32nd Place
Long Island City, NY 11101

Map (click to enlarge):

Subway: 7 train to 33rd Street, walk 2 blocks
Bus: Q32, Q39, Q60

 

Images: Mary Antoinette Lorania Pike and Sarah Adeline Pike; Joseph H. Davis (1811–1865); New Hampshire; 1865; watercolor, pencil, and ink on paper; 8 1/2 x 11 in.; Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Ralph Esmerian, 2005.8.8. Photo © 2000 John Bigelow Taylor.

Cotton Pickin’; Clementine Hunter (1886/87–1988); Natchitoches, Louisiana; 1948; oil on artist board; 16 x 20 in.; Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Gleaves Rhodes, 2001.27.1. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Surprise Quilt Presented to Mary A. Grow; various quiltmakers; Plymouth, Michigan; 1856; cotton with ink and embroidery; 87 x 82 1/2 in.; Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift in memory of Margaret Trautwein Stoddard and her daughter, Eleanor Stoddard Seibold, 2003.2.1. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Heart-and-Hand Love Token; artist unidentified; possibly Connecticut; 1840–1860; ink and varnish on cut paper; 12 x 14 in.; Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, museum purchase, 1981.12.15. Photo by John Parnell.

Ark of the Covenant; Minnie Evans (1892–1987); Wilmington, North Carolina; 1980; crayon, pencil, and gold paint on card; 13 x 17 7/8 in.; Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of the artist, 1982.2.1.

Love Token for Sarah Newlin; artist unidentified; Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania; 1799; ink and watercolor on paper; 12 5/8 x 12 5/8 in.; Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of J. Randall Plummer and Harvey S. Shipley Miller, 2007.24.1A. Photo by John Parnell.

 

Credits

Major support for the Self-Taught Genius Gallery is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Booth Ferris Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Ford Foundation, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Installation